Computing Science

Major award recognizes Alexandra Fedorova’s leadership in computer energy research

February 24, 2012

A Sloan Research Fellowship for assistant computing science professor Alexandra Fedorova gives her rising-star status, placing her among the next generation of scientific leaders.

"Today’s Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow’s Nobel Prize winners," said Dr. Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today."

Fedorova leads SFU’s Systems Research Group. Her research focuses on finding new algorithms that can more efficiently allocate a computer system’s hardware resources.

"For example, computer data centres use two per cent of the world’s electricity," says Fedorova, "so it matters quite a lot how you allocate the data centre’s computer resources among the software applications that run on them. Efficiency translates into reduced energy consumption."

In smartphones, software efficiency is key to prolonging battery life and functionality.

Fedorova collaborates on projects with Oracle, which is in the process of implementing one of her prototypes to see if it will work with their operating system, and Intel is evaluating some of her algorithms. She holds two Strategic Project Grants from the Canadian government and leads a project in the recently formed Networks of Centers of Excellence on Graphics, Animation and New Media.

Fedorova will use the $50,000 Sloan fellowship to hire more students to help with her labour-intensive research, which requires building computer systems in order to demonstrate her theories.

In addition to the Sloan Research Fellowship, Fedorova recently won the 2011 Anita Borg Early Career Award, recognizing a woman in computing science and/or engineering who has made a significant research impact and who has contributed to her profession, particularly by reaching out to women.